Stay Connected

by: Joanne Meehl

Ah, another painful e-mail: "I've landed a job, so could you take me off the networking group mailing list?", asked the now-employed member.

Why "painful"? Certainly I'm thrilled he landed his new job! But the pain I'm feeling is, "Here's another person who's going to stop networking while he's employed, and only do it again when he's laid off again." Plus, by being off the mailing list, he'll have no clear idea about how it is out there, no warnings that layoffs are on the upswing or downswing, or that hiring is increasing or decreasing in his field. He's choosing to remain insulated from it all, hidden from it, on this next job. He thinks he'll be avoiding the pain he so recently left behind. Plus, who wants all that e-mail, anyway?

These are the people that we see at networking group meetings a few years later (it's never very long given today's corporate layoff culture), who struggle to make new connections, who have to play catch-up on the new job search methods. And because they're rusty, they'll come across as desperate.

So do yourself a favor: stay even a little connected to the job search world once you get that next job. Go to professional association meetings in your field, aim to meet with someone new in your field each month, or with someone you want to reconnect with. Take certificate classes and get to know your fellow students, your instructors. Attend seminars and give out, and collect, plenty of business cards. Stay on the list serves.

In short, make it so easy for yourself that after the next layoff, all you have to do is send out an e-mail and you've lined up a dozen lunch meetings with people who are delighted to be seeing you.


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